A September hero for owners scouring the waiver wire in deep leagues down the stretch, Adam Rosales hit five homers in the season's final month, pushing his season total to a career-high 13 over 248 plate appearances. His secret appeared to be selling out for the home-run pop with an increased amount of swing-and-miss in his game, as he fanned at a career-worst 35.5 percent clip. Prior to last season, Rosales' value was typically generated from his ability to provide pop against left-handed pitching, and that trait will likely dictate his role again as he returns to play for the Athletics in 2017. His reverse splits (.337 wOBA v. RHP in 2016) from last season will likely keep him in a reserve utility role unless injuries strike Oakland's starters, though.
Rosales went 1-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a run scored Thursday in the Athletics' 9-6 victory over the Mariners. Rosales got Oakland on the board with an RBI single in the third inning and gave them a briefly-held lead in the fifth inning with a sacrifice fly. The 33-year-old is making the most of his increased playing time, as Thursday's contest raised his batting average to a career-best .296, which should help him get plenty of innings at shortstop until Marcus Semien (wrist) returns from the DL.
Rosales hit a two-run homer off Yu Darvish as part of a 2-for-3 effort against the Rangers on Tuesday. While Rosales has generally been an inarguably poor hitter, he's coming off his finest MLB season, as he hit a career-high 13 homers in 248 at-bats for San Diego last year. He's off to a fairly slow start in his return to Oakland even with this homer, but Rosales projects to see a big share of playing time at shortstop as long as Marcus Semien (wrist) is on the DL.
Rosales will start at shortstop and bat ninth in the order Sunday against the Astros, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Marcus Semien (wrist) landed on the 10-day disabled list Sunday as a result of a bone bruise, so manager Bob Melvin will give the veteran Rosales the first crack at replacing him in the starting five. At this stage of his career, the 33-year-old profiles better as a utility option. It wouldn't be surprising if Rosales is ultimately forced to share duties at shortstop with prospect Chad Pinder, who was recalled from Triple-A Nashville in correspondence with Semien's placement on the DL.
Rosales went 2-for-3 with an RBI triple and two runs in Sunday's 11-1 Cactus League win over the Brewers. Oakland's utility man extraordinaire raised his spring average to .211 with Sunday's production, which included his fourth extra-base hit in 38 spring at-bats. Despite his struggles at the plate this spring, Rosales' considerable versatility -- he's capable of potentially filling in at up to five positions, including all four infield spots -- figures to help him hold onto a spot on the 25-man roster.
Rosales, who returned to the A's on a one-year, $1.25 million contract in January, could potentially back up five positions in 2017, Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area reports. The veteran jack-of-all-trades may really get an opportunity to live up to his reputation for positional versatility this season, as he's projected to potentially back up all four infield positions and left field if necessary. For Rosales, who smacked a career-high 13 homers in 2016 but hit under .230 for the second consecutive season, his ability to provide solid defensive play wherever he's deployed has been the key to staying gainfully employed in the big leagues for nine seasons. Depending on how spring training plays out, the 33-year-old could serve as the A's' sole backup infielder in 2017.